This week, the airline startup in focus is the Slovenian-based Amelia International Airlines. Amelia intends to launch flights between Paris Orly and Rodez next year, according to Alen Šćurić at Tango Six.
Amelia used to be Aero4M
Amelia International Airlines is in fact not a new airline. It was created this year by Regourd Aviation, an aeronautics group.
The group itself now goes under the brand Amelia, which it claims is “to unite the group under one banner”. The group has existed since 1976 and is based at Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport.
Previously, the group had an ACMI business under the name Aero4M. It also operated charter flights. That aspect of the business, the airline operations, has now been handed over to Amelia International Airlines.
The airline has a fleet of thirteen aircraft: eight EMB145, two EMB135, one EMB135BJ Legacy 600, an ATR72-600, and one Falcon F900EX. Another ATR42-500 will join the fleet this year.
What route will it fly?
Amelia International Airlines will begin flying between Rodez, in France, and Orly near Paris. The flight time between these two French towns is 1 hour and 15 minutes.
The route is presently served by Flybe, as a Public Service Obligation. The PSO contract that Flybe is engaged in ends on 19 January and, in line with this, the last flight between Rodez and Paris Orly to be operated by Flybe is on Saturday 18 January.
Flybe operated the route with an EMB145, the same type of which Amelia International Airlines has two in its fleet. Flybe leased this EMB from Eastern Airways.
For this PSO, Flybe received over 4.5 million Euros for the four-year contract period. Amelia will be taking over the route on 20 January, as it announced on its website.
Presumably, Amelia will be receiving the same amount of money as Flybe. For this, it will operate three daily rotations on weekdays and three rotations across Saturday and Sunday.
Wider significance for Slovenia
This year’s bankruptcy of Adria Airways has now left Slovenia with only one airline based there – Amelia International Airlines.
The Slovenian government recently declared it no longer has any intention to establish a new national airline. This is mostly because foreign airlines have since flocked to Slovenia to launch new routes and increase frequencies.
However, some routes still remain unserved or have significantly decreased in frequencies.
For example, Lufthansa Group airlines have launched a whole network out of Ljubljana but Austrian Airlines has not. Ljubljana has lost its two daily connections to Vienna as a result.
Meanwhile, Adria’s routes to Frankfurt, Munich, Brussels and Zurich have all been replaced but these operate at significantly lower frequencies.
Could Slovenia be about to launch a PSO tender for an increase in frequencies to European hubs, which Amelia could apply to and serve with its Embraer aircraft?